|Arizona Summit Law School|
|Parent school||InfiLaw System|
|School type||For profit|
|Location|| Phoenix, Arizona, USA |
|Faculty||18 full time 40 adjunct|
|Bar pass rate||20.1%|
The Arizona Summit Law School, founded in 2005 and known until 2013 as the Phoenix School of Law, is a for-profit law school located in Phoenix, Arizona. SummitLaw is part of the InfiLaw System of independent, for-profit law schools, which includes Florida Coastal School of Law and Charlotte School of Law, owned by Sterling Partners.Although the school was approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) in 2010, the ABA withdrew the school's accreditation effective July 9, 2018, and the school began closing in the fall of that same year.
For-profit higher education in the United States consists of higher education educational institutions operated by profit-seeking businesses. However, as the blurring of public and private continue, for-profit education also includes for-profit mechanisms such as endowment money managers, for-profit fees for service, for-profit marketing, enrollment services and lead generation, privatized campus services, for-profit online program managers (OPMs), privatized housing, private student loans, and human capital contracts, also known as income share agreements.
A law school is an institution specializing in legal education, usually involved as part of a process for becoming a lawyer within a given jurisdiction.
Phoenix is the capital and most populous city of Arizona, with 1,660,272 people. It is also the fifth most populous city in the United States, and the most populous American state capital, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents.
According to Arizona Summit's official 2018 ABA-required disclosures, 34.4% of the Class of 2017 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners.
In July 2017, the school had the lowest bar passage rate in Arizona, with 25.7% of first time test takers passing compared to 76.1% for Arizona State University and 74.3% for University of Arizona. The state's total passage rate was 69.4% for first time test takers and 56.6% overall.
The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law is one of the professional graduate schools at Arizona State University, located in Phoenix, Arizona. The school is currently located in the Beus Center for Law and Society on ASU's downtown Phoenix campus. The law school was created in 1965 as the Arizona State University College of Law upon recommendation of the Arizona Board of Regents, with the first classes held in the fall of 1967. The school has held American Bar Association accreditation since 1969 and is a member of the Order of the Coif. The school is also a member of the Association of American Law Schools. In 2006, the law school was renamed in honor of retired United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
The University of Arizona is a public research university in Tucson, Arizona. Founded in 1885, the UA was the first university in the Arizona Territory. As of 2017, the university enrolls 44,831 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers. The University of Arizona is governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The University of Arizona is one of the elected members of the Association of American Universities and is the only representative from the state of Arizona to this group.
The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Arizona Summit for the 2014-2015 academic year is $64,856.The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $243,864. The median amount of debt for program graduates is $178,263 The school offers controversial conditional scholarships to students that can be reduced or eliminated based on overall grade point average, rather than academic standing. During the 2015-2016 academic year, 73 students had their conditional scholarship reduced or eliminated.
The school had been located in the Phelps Dodge Tower, a 20-story building in downtown Phoenix, until August 2018, when it was evicted for failure to pay rent.
The Phelps Dodge Tower is a high-rise office building located along Central Avenue in the Downtown area of Phoenix, Arizona, United States. The tower rises 20 floors and 290 feet (88 m) in height. Owned by Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd., the Phelps Dodge Tower was built in 2001. Upon completion it served as the headquarters for the Phelps Dodge mining company and today it stands as the 23rd-tallest building in Phoenix. Phelps Dodge was subsequently acquired by Freeport-McMoRan Inc., who moved the corporate offices two blocks north into the newly constructed Freeport-McMoRan Center.
Critics contend that Arizona Summit's admissions process was close to a fully open unselective enrollment system.Arizona Summit's Fall 2016 entering class had a median GPA of 2.96 and a median LSAT score of 143 (20th percentile of test takers). The 25th percentile of admitted students had a GPA of 2.55 and an LSAT score of 140 (13th percentile of test takers). The school admitted 64.1% of applicants. Last year, the school lost 99 first year students (33% of the class). Forty-one students failed out of the program, 35 transferred, and 23 left for other reasons.
The school says its mission is based upon three pillars: (1) a student-centered educational experience; (2) supporting programs that allow for professionally prepared graduates; and (3) commitment to underserved communities.
Nevertheless, legal scholars dispute the for-profit school's mission. Many legal academics contend that Arizona Summit admits students who have little chance of passing the bar or obtaining employment after graduation, in order to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in student loans.
U.S. News and World Report did not report the rank of Arizona Summit in 2016.US News only ranks the top three-fourths of law schools.
In May 2017, the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, the state's licensing authority governing for-profit educational institutions, voted to require the law school to post a $1.5 million surety bond, to be potentially paid out to students in the event the school closes down.
Previously, the Chairman of the Board was Dennis Archer, a former Mayor of Detroit, Michigan Supreme Court justice and the first African-American president of the American Bar Association.
A 2012 report showed that 18% of first-year students at Arizona Summit had transferred to other law schools. This led to a policy in which transfer students were required to meet with an adviser before their transcripts would be released.
In 2013, two professors filed a lawsuit against the school, alleging that they had been fired for objecting to a new policy related to student transfers, among other policy changes.The complaint was subsequently dismissed by District Court. The plaintiffs appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The school created controversy in 2015, when the dean reportedly paid underprepared students not to take the bar exam.
On March 27, 2017, Arizona Summit was notified by the ABA that the school had been placed on probation.Arizona Summit became the second InfiLaw school to be placed on probation by the ABA. Charlotte School of Law was placed on probation in November 2016.
In January 2018, the ABA issued a letter stating that the school's financial strength was insufficient to carry out legal education that met the ABA's standards and gave the school until February 1, 2018, to submit a report on its efforts to improve its financial position.
The ABA withdrew approval in June 2018. The ABA approved the school's "teach-out plan" in November of 2018 as the school ceases operations.
In the United States, a law school is an institution where students obtain a professional education in law after first obtaining an undergraduate degree.
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day standardized test administered six times each year at designated testing centers throughout the world. The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) administers the LSAT for prospective law school candidates. It is designed to assess reading comprehension as well as logical and verbal reasoning proficiency. The test is an integral part of the law school admission process in the United States, Canada, the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a growing number of other countries.
The American Bar Association (ABA), founded August 21, 1878, is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. The ABA's most important stated activities are the setting of academic standards for law schools, and the formulation of model ethical codes related to the legal profession. The ABA has 410,000 members. Its national headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois; it also maintains a significant branch office in Washington, D.C.
Quinnipiac University School of Law is the law school of the Quinnipiac University. The School is the newest law school in the U.S. state of Connecticut, having received full accreditation from the American Bar Association in 1995. It is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. It is currently ranked 133rd by U.S. News & World Report for 2018.
Whittier Law School is a law school in Costa Mesa, California founded in 1966. The law school is part of Whittier College, a private institution. After several years of being ranked among the poorest performing law schools in the country based on bar passage rate and job placement, on April 15, 2017, Whittier Law School announced it would no longer be admitting students and would discontinue its legal program. The closure of Whittier Law School will make it the first law school with full accreditation by the American Bar Association (ABA) to shut down in at least 30 years.
The University of San Francisco School of Law is the American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school of the private University of San Francisco. Established in 1912, the law school has approximately 700 students. It received ABA approval in 1935. It joined the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in 1937.
Florida Coastal School of Law is a for-profit law school in Jacksonville, Florida. Established in 1996, the school was founded upon three mission pillars: serving the underserved, providing an education that is student-outcome centered, and graduating students who are practice ready. The school is part of the InfiLaw System of law schools owned by Sterling Partners. Florida Coastal has filed an application with the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Accreditation to convert to non-profit status.
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Charlotte School of Law was an independent for-profit college in Charlotte, North Carolina, established in 2006, with an aim to serve the underserved. It was provisionally accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) in 2008, and fully accredited in 2011. However, the ABA put the school on probation in 2016 and the school closed the following year. While Charlotte Law served the community through expungement programs and restitution self-help clinics, it was also criticized for alleged mismanagement and compliance issues, which were later found to be true. Charlotte Law was owned by the InfiLaw System.
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